Women In Dance In The Early 20th Century

posted May 02, 2016 by Kathy Pinna
From skimpy costumes to being covered head to toe, dancers in the first half of the 20th century were a diverse lot. But they all focused on changing the form of dance and the way people viewed women. These are photos of those diverse, independent dancers and their impact on society and thinking in the early 20th century.

Gypsy Rose Lee

A famous "striptease" dancer, Gypsy Rose Lee shed her clothes (but not all of them!) with elegance and wit.

Mata Hari

Grietje Zelle, known as "Mata Hari" on stage, in 1906 Paris. Her stage presence - and her life - were considered scandalous but she lived the way she chose to!

Quaker School dancers

1920 dancers at the Friends Select School - May Festival.

Ginger Rogers

Best known for dancing with Fred Astaire, she could do it all - from tap to dancing backwards in high heels!


Isadora Duncan is considered "The Mother of Modern Dance". These are some of the girls she taught.

Elizabeth Duncan

Sister of Isadora, she ran a school of dance in Germany and Greece

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